Wild Card Halftime Report: Eagles at Buccaneers

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Eagles (9-8) are back in the playoffs facing the defending Super Bowl champion Buccaneers (13-4) on the road in the Wild Card round. The Bucs have dominated the first half on both sides of the ball and lead 17-0. The Eagles will receive the opening kick in the third quarter. Here’s what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

TE Dallas Goedert

The Eagles’ offense struggled in the first half, and Goedert was one of the only players to get heavily involved in the passing game. Goedert finished the half with three catches for 36 yards but also dropped what would have been a big-time gain in Buccaneer territory.


First Half Defensive MVP

DE Ryan Kerrigan

After having an atrocious regular season, Kerrigan has put together quite an impressive effort in the first half. On 2nd-and-goal, Kerrigan came up with a tackle for loss on a drive that eventually ended in a field goal. Kerrigan came up with a third-down sack on the ensuing Bucs’ drive that led to a punt. On Tampa Bays’ last drive of the half, Kerrigan picked up his second sack of the day on third down and forced the Bucs to punt.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles’ Offense

For an offense that was in the upper half of regular season teams, they were shut down for all of the first half. They only accumulated 118 yards and picked up just five first downs. The offense needs to have a big second half if the Eagles want to pull off the improbable comeback.


Who To Watch Out For

QB Tom Brady

A familiar postseason foe for the Eagles, Brady was rolling in the first half. The 44-year-old went 20-of-25 for 159 yards. With the lead so big, the Bucs will likely run the ball more in the second half, but the Eagles defense still needs to have their main focus be on Brady.


Halftime Report: Cowboys at Eagles

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

After clinching a playoff berth last week, the Eagles (9-7) host the Cowboys (11-5) in a game that doesn't have much significance for either squad. Both teams are missing key players on each side of the ball, and the Eagles are resting virtually all their starters. The game has been back and forth through the first half, but the Cowboys separated at the end of the second quarter and the Eagles trail 30-17 at the break. The Eagles will kickoff to start the final half of the regular season. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

WR DeVonta Smith

Smith's role in tonight's game was clear. Go out there and break Desean Jackson's Eagles rookie record of 912 receiving yards and then get out. That's almost exactly what happened. Smith hauled in three catches for 41 yards, putting him at 916 yards on the season, and then exited. He came back in for one play a bit later but then left the game for good, ending his stellar regular season.


First Half Defensive MVP

DT Raequan Williams

On the Cowboys' second drive, Williams came up with a sack on first down that eventually led to a Dallas field goal, its only drive of the half that didn't end with a touchdown. Williams was promoted from the practice squad right before the game.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles’ Defense

This is hard to give out, considering expectations for the players on the field need to be tempered with all the starters out. The Eagles' offense has been impressive, but their defense has struggled. The Cowboys enter the half with 308 total yards, 14 first downs and no punts. In the second half, the Eagles' backups on defense need to be better if they want to come away with the win.


Who To Watch Out For

QB Dak Prescott

With the Eagles' secondary comprised of all backups, Prescott and the Cowboys' offense had a big first half. Prescott went 16/21 for 240 yards and four touchdowns. Sadly for the Eagles, Darius Slay, Avonte Maddox and Rodney McLeod won't magically become active, so it's up to the reserves to slow down Prescott and Co.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Washington

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The Eagles (8-7) visit the Washington Football Team (6-9) in week 17 of the regular season on a day the Eagles can clinch a Wild Card berth with a win and a few things that are out of their control. The Eagles started the first half slow, trailing by 10 at the end of the first quarter, and now enter the break in a 16-7 hole. The Eagles will receive the second half kickoff. Here’s what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

QB Jalen Hurts

Despite the Eagles only scoring seven points at the half, Hurts has played an impressive game. He went 9-for-11 for 116 yards in the air and showed off his run ability, rushing three times for 35 yards.


First Half Defensive MVP

DE Josh Sweat

With the Eagles defense needing a stop, Sweat came up with a big sack on Washington quarterback Taylor Heinicke that pushed the Football team into second-and-long and eventually led to a field goal attempt. DT Fletcher Cox was credited for half of the sack as well.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles’ Defense

Coming off a strong performance against a lackluster Giants offense, the Eagles' defense did not have a good first half, giving up 230 yards and 16 first downs. The WFT scored on their first four possessions, and Heinicke only had three incompletions. The Eagles’ offense has held their own. Now it’s up to the defense to step up and make a play.


Who To Watch Out For

WR Terry McLaurin

With multiple skill position players out for Washington, McLaurin has been and will continue to be a focal point of the WFT offense. The third year wideout had four catches for 37 yards in the first half and should see Pro Bowl cornerback Darius Slay Jr. continue to shadow him in the final 30 minutes.


Halftime Report: Giants at Eagles

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 4-10 Giants visit the 7-7 Eagles in a game that means a lot for the Eagles’ playoff chances. The first half was an extremely ugly one for the Eagles, however, they enter the break tied at three. The Eagles’ defense has been a bright spot, and they will be seen early next half as the Giants receive the second half kickoff. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

WR DeVonta Smith

With the Eagles’ offense not able to get anything going, Jalen Hurts fired a bomb to Smith for 46 yards. The catch led to an Eagles field goal that tied the game up at three. Smith finished the half with three catches for 75 yards.


First Half Defensive MVP

DE Josh Sweat

On 3rd-and-7, Sweat got the first Eagles’ sack of the day, stopping the Gaints’ drive and forcing them to punt. Sweat and the defense played a phenomenal first half, only giving up 76 yards and six first downs.


Who Needs To Step Up

QB Jalen Hurts

After a stellar game last week, Hurts had a rough first half. He completed just seven of his 17 pass attempts for 94 yards. Hurts and the offense, that had only seven first downs, need to step up and help their defense out.


Who To Watch Out For

RB Saquon Barkley

With quarterback Daniel Jones out and Jake Fromm getting the start, the Gaints’ offense has relied on Barkley for the most part. Barkley didn’t necessarily have a great first half, rushing for 27 yards, but his volume in the second half will be there.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Jets

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 5-7 Eagles head back to MetLife Stadium for the second straight week, this time to face the 3-8 Jets. The Eagles are without starting quarterback Jalen Hurts for the first time this season, but backup Gardner Minshew II stepped in and played a terrific first half. Both offenses are rolling, but the Eagles lead, 24-18, at the break. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

TE Dallas Goedert

After the Eagles gave up an opening drive touchdown, Goedert was featured on the Eagles’ first offensive possession, where he caught three passes for 61 yards, including a 36-yard reception for a touchdown. On the very next Eagles drive, Goedert was again the focal point, catching two passes for 37 yards, one going for a 25-yard touchdown.


First Half Defensive MVP

DE Josh Sweat

With the Eagles’ defense struggling, Sweat came up with the biggest play on the defensive side for Philadelphia, sacking Jets quarterback Zach Wilson on third down to force the games’ first punt. The ensuing Eagles possession ended in an Eagles field goal that increased their lead to six.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles Defense

Going against a Jets offense that entered the game averaging 18.1 points per contest, the Eagles defense gave up 18 points in the first half, a number that could be more if not for two missed extra points and a failed two-point attempt. The Eagles gave up touchdowns on the Jets’ first three possessions, forcing a Jalen Hurts-less offense to play from behind much of the first half.


Who To Watch Out For

QB Zach Wilson

Overall, this season has not gone well for Wilson, the second pick in the 2021 draft. But against the Eagles, he put together one of his best halves of the season, going 12-of-14 passing for 108 yards and two touchdowns, also adding a rushing score. With both offenses rolling, containing Wilson and Co. in the second half will be key to an Eagles victory.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Giants

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 5-6 Eagles visit the 3-7 Giants in week twelve of the regular season. The Eagles’ offense has been on fire the past few games but did not have a good first half against the Giants. Entering the break, the Eagles trail the Giants, 3-0. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

QB Jalen Hurts as a runner

On the ground, Hurts had a good first half. He ran five times for 39-yards, with a long run of 18-yards. His passing game was not very good, however, as he threw two interceptions.


First Half Defensive MVP

CB Darius Slay Jr.

On third down in the first quarter, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones fired a pass to the end zone that fell incomplete with Slay playing very tight coverage. Slays defense took a potential touchdown for the Giants off the board and held them to a field goal.


Who Needs To Step Up

C Nate Herbig

Replacing an injured Jason Kelce, Herbig has entered the game and did not play well. He had two holding penalties, both negating two big runs. The second took off a long Boston Scott touchdown run which would have given the Eagles the lead. With Kelce questionable, if Herbig is playing in the second half, he needs to step up.


Who To Watch Out For

QB Daniel Jones

During a poor season for Jones, he put together a rather solid first half. He delivered some good throws, going 8-for-14 passing for 94 yards. He was also active in the run game, rushing five times for 24 yards. Containing him in the air and on the ground will be big for the Eagles in the second half.


Halftime Report: Saints at Eagles

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 5-4 Saints visit the 4-6 Eagles in week eleven of the regular season. This contest has major playoff implications for both teams who are fighting for a Wild Card spot. The Eagles dominated the first two quarters and lead 27-7. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

QB Jalen Hurts

Following one of the best games of his young career, Hurts has backed up that performance with another stellar outing. Hurts has done most of his damage on the ground, running 10 times for 49 yards and two touchdowns. He completed nine of his 16 pass attempts for 97 yards. The second-year quarterback continues to make a case that he should be the Eagles starter going forward.


First Half Defensive MVP

CB Darius Slay Jr.

As the first half was winding down, Slay jumped in front of Saints quarterback Trevor Siemian’s throw and took it 51-yards for a touchdown. The score put the Eagles up 27-7 and was Slay’s third touchdown in four games.


Who Needs To Step Up

RB Miles Sanders

In his first game off Injured Reserve, Sanders had some ups and downs. He had a big 25-yard run but later had a costly fumble on the Eagles’ six-yard line that set up a Saints touchdown. Sanders only had one more carry following the fumble, and on it, the ball was poked free, but his forward momentum was stopped, so the play was dead.


Who To Watch Out For

TE Adam Trautman

For a Saints offense that struggled in the first half, Trautman was a bright spot. On a 3rd-and-goal from the Eagles’ 19-yard line, Siemian found Trautman in the end zone for a touchdown. Later in the half, Trautman picked another 19-yards for a first down.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Broncos

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By Matt Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 3-6 Eagles visit the 5-4 Broncos in week ten of the regular season. The Birds are coming off a solid outing against the Chargers where they fell on a last-second field goal, 27-24. The Eagles have put together an impressive first half with Jalen Hurts and DeVonta Smith leading the way and lead, 20-10. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

QB Jalen Hurts

Hurts has looked extremely sharp thus far. The second-year quarterback finished the half with 176 passing yards, two passing touchdowns and 52 rushing yards. Hurts completed 15 of his 20 pass attempts and made some big-time throws on key plays, notably a 36-yard touchdown to Smith, who made an exceptional catch.


First Half Defensive MVP

DE Derek Barnett

On a 3rd-and-11 late in the first half, Barnett made the defensive play of the first half for the Eagles, sacking Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. This was the Eagles’ first sack since their win over the Lions in week eight.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles Defensive

Over the first two quarters, the Eagles’ defense has not played great but hasn’t been poor. They gave up a long touchdown drive and, on the ensuing Broncos’ possession, allowed a 64-yard completion that led to a field goal. With the Eagles leading at the half, if the defense can hold up, the Birds should be in good shape.


Who To Watch Out For

RB Melvin Gordon

When the Broncos got to the red zone on their first scoring drive, it was all Gordon. He had a big first down run and, after a seven-yard gain, ran virtually untouched for a one-yard score. Gordon finished the half with 24 yards on four carries.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Lions

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 2-5 Eagles visit the 0-7 Lions in week eight of the regular season. Philadelphia is coming off an embarrassing showing against the Raiders but had arguably their best half of football in the first 30 minutes. The Birds looked great in all three phases and enter the half with a 17-0 lead. The Eagles will receive the second half kickoff. Here's what we saw in the first half of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

RB Boston Scott

In his first game this year with consistent touches, Scott has shown out. The 5-foot-6 running back was head coach Nick Sirianni’s go-to guy in the backfield, rushing nine times for 55 yards and a touchdown. Scott brought a different style of play to the offense and is making a case for more touches even when starting running back Miles Sanders returns.


First Half Defensive MVP

DE Josh Sweat

After inking a lucrative contract extension before the season, Sweat was poised to have his biggest season yet. He got off to a decent start across the first seven weeks but showed his value today. Sweat came up with two big sacks in the first half; the first on second down in Eagles territory, leading to a missed field goal attempt, and the second on third down, forcing the Lions to punt. Sweat’s play has been a big part in the Eagles putting together one of their best defensive halves of the season.


Who Needs To Step Up

WR DeVonta Smith

The first half was a clean overall performance for the Eagles. The defense allowed no points, and the offense scored on every drive besides one, not counting the end of half kneel. That lone scoreless drive started with a dropped pass for Smith, who enters halftime with no receptions.


Who To Watch Out For

TE T.J. Hockenson

For a Lions offense that struggled in the first half, Hockenson was a bright spot. The third-year tight end led the Lions in receiving yards (59) and catches (seven) in the first 30 minutes and will continue to be a focal point for Detroit's offense in the second half.


Halftime Report: Eagles at Raiders

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By Matt Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 2-4 Eagles visit the 4-2 Raiders in week seven of the regular season. The Eagles started the game strong, but Las Vegas has made their presence felt and enter the half with a 17-7 lead. The Raiders will receive the kickoff in the second half. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

RB Miles Sanders

The Eagles finally started to run the ball in the first half, and it paid off on the first drive as Sanders led the Eagles to the red zone before quarterback Jalen Hurts connected with running back Kenny Gainwell for the score. Sanders finished the half with 30 yards on six carries but left the game with an ankle injury and is questionable to return.


First Half Defensive MVP

CB Avonte Maddox

Maddox delivered the play of the first half for the Eagles, intercepting Raiders quarterback Derek Carr inside the 10-yard line, likely taking points off the board for Las Vegas. Maddox’s interception is a big reason why the Eagles still have a shot in this game.


Who Needs To Step Up

Eagles Defense

The Raiders' offense had their way in the first half. Carr picked the Eagles' defense apart, only throwing two incompletions. The Raiders running game also had their way, rushing for 58 yards on 13 attempts, including a touchdown.


Who To Watch Out For

QB Derek Carr

Carr had a big first half for the Raiders, going 21/23 for 215 yards, including a touchdown and an interception. Carr found tight end Foster Moreau in the end zone during the second quarter to tie the game up at seven. The Birds need to slow down Carr in the second half to walk away with the victory.


Halftime Report: Buccaneers at Eagles

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By Matthew Ryan, Sports Talk Philly Contributor

The 4-1 Buccaneers visit the 2-3 Eagles in week six of the regular season. The Birds are coming off a comeback win over the Panthers, while the Bucs demolished the Dolphins by four touchdowns last week. Tampa Bay outplayed Philadelphia throughout the first half and enter the break with a 21-7 lead. Here's what we saw in the first 30 minutes of action:


First Half Offensive MVP

WR Quez Watkins

Once again, the Eagles offense had a quiet first half, scoring just seven points. The only drive where the offense consistently moved the ball was their first, and Watkins’ impressive first-down catch on 3rd-and-12 kept it going. That 23-yard reception was Watkins’ only catch of the first half.


First Half Defensive MVP

S Anthony Harris

After being questionable to return, Harris came up with the biggest play of his Eagles career, notching his first interception with the Birds. Harris picked off Tom Brady late in the first half, but the Eagles couldn’t put up points on the ensuing drive.


Who Needs To Step Up

QB Jalen Hurts

Coming off of a big fourth-quarter where he led the Eagles to victory over the Panthers, Hurts’ first half looked more like the first three-quarters last week, which is not a good thing. Hurts missed some throws, notably multiple potential third-down conversions and an interception in the second quarter. Hurts finished the half just 5/14 for 54 yards with an interception and touchdown, adding 20 rushing yards. If the Eagles want to come away from this game with a .500 record, Hurts has to step his game up.


Who To Watch Out For

QB Tom Brady

In his second regular season game against the Eagles since they defeated his Patriots in Super Bowl 52, Brady had a solid first two quarters. Brady went 20/26 for 186 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The seven-time Super Bowl champ led a Tampa Bay offense that was comfortable for most of the first half and scored 21 points.